Faith News Niagara's has now published seven issues. And we are so thankful to God for bringing us to this place in our existence!
And we want to thank you for being along for the ride. It's been a fantastic journey so far, and we are starting to feel like we're hitting our stride. We really love bringing the stories of what God is doing through his people, to his people.
We're pausing and reflecting on what we've done so far because we're taking a break for the next month. Our next issue will go live on August 1. In fact, after some thought on the matter, we will not publish on January 1 or July 1, going forward. Many people are preparing for Christmas in December, and many people are preparing for vacation, etc. in June. Plus, since those days actually are holidays, we think that will be a perfect time to take a break ourselves.
As we get set to take a little break, I'd like to share a few thoughts how you can help us have an amazing second half of the year. First, we'd love to get some feedback from you... on anything! Here are some ideas: tell us what you like about what you've seen so far in Faith News; or what you aren't so crazy about; or what you'd like to see more of; or less of; or what you'd like to see in the future that isn't even here right now... we're totally into communicating with our readers, so let us know what you're thinking and feeling. Even if you just want to say hi, that's great! We'll say hi back! (Well, maybe more than just that...)
Second, do you see God doing something awesome that the rest of the Body of Christ ought to know about? Is there a local ministry that is doing a great work for the Lord, that the rest of the Faith Community is unaware of? Tell us about it! Perhaps another reader will be led by the Lord to share some of their God-given resources with that ministry, however that ends up looking. Maybe the Lord is waiting for you to share that ministry with us... so we can share it with our readers... so our readers can ask the Lord how best they should partner with them, if that is what he is directing them to do.
Third, if you're aware of a business that would like to take advantage of our new ad placement policy-- namely, that all ads are free-- then let us know that as well! For those who aren't aware of the story behind that change, it's simple: we believe that FNN is a resource that is to be a blessing to the community we serve. We have approximately 1500 readers a month now (thanks to all of you by the way!). If we can help a local business, or a product that has local origins, to positions themselves in front of people that can benefit from what they do, we provide space for them on our site. Rather than charging the going rates for an ad, we ask for whatever contribution they feel led to give. It is risky, but it's also radical benevolence in action. And it puts us in a place where we look to the Lord to help us meet our needs.
Fourth: we want to give others the same opportunity we have to communicate through writing that we enjoy every month. If you're a pastor (or know of one who enjoys writing), we've created a space for you on our site called The Virtual Pulpit. It's a place where the larger body of believers can hear what the Lord is saying to various ministers on a regular basis. If you're a lay person, we have the Community Corner. And there's even opportunities to write articles for us if you have a desire to do that as well.
And we'd love it if everyone did this very simple, yet very effective act, that will go a long way to helping us have a fantastic second half: if you read a story you found particularly enjoyable, let others know. Share it with friends! We're building a loyal base of readers as more and more people learn about us, and more and more, people are learning about through our loyal base of readers. So keep spreading the word!
There are many ways to connect with us. There's there tried and true email address-- email@example.com puts your questions and comments right into my inbox. Then there's our Facebook page. We also have a Google+ account, and we're also on Twitter. And soon to come: our YouTube page.
Every so often I ask myself where we can conceivably be in one year's time, if we just keep on doing what we're doing-- connecting with the people of God in the Niagara Region on person, one church, one ministry at a time. That's what keeps us doing what we're doing. We see the potential of Faith News Niagara to help unify the Christians of the Niagara Region in Christ, and we love feeling that we can play a small role in what the Lord wants to do among us.
I have this future vision in my mind of the churches in the Niagara Region, working together all the more, to serve Jesus, our community, and each other. I see our working together as something that helps us be even more effective in sharing the Gospel, and fulfilling the Great Commission. I believe that as we continue sharing resources... as we continue showing Jesus' love to each other and our community... as the walls between us keep falling because the trust and friendship between us keeps growing... as we keep doing events and services and outreaches together... our neighbours will see this, and respond to it.
When they see this gospel lived out in our collective lives, they'll be to open to Jesus. That's just something I believe.